Oranda Goldfish are one of my personal favorites! They can be easily spotted by the characteristic wen growth on the top of their head – many people say it looks a lot like a raspberry. The size and shape of the head cap depends a lot on the fish’s genetics, but it can also be heavily influenced by the diet that they receive as well.
There are quite a few different wen variations that an Oranda can sport – I’ve always had a soft spot for the ones with a head cap that encompasses their cheeks in addition to the top of their head. Some Oranda’s will only have a growth that is barely visible, while others have one that looks a lot like a beehive (Marge, anyone?).
Most pet stores categorize all of the variations under the common name Oranda, but hobbyists have all kinds of names for them – for instance, there are Goose Heads, Lion Heads (not to be confused with the actual breed), and Tiger Heads. I don’t have the time to keep up with all of the new nick names so I generally just stick to calling mine a plain ol’ Oranda!
A well bred Oranda Goldfish should have a very deep body, very similar in shape to an egg. Because of this exaggerated body shape they are one of the types of Goldfish that are prone to developing buoyancy problems even when kept in pristine conditions. They can come in a variety of different colors, such as black, red, orange, white and blue — there are also tri-color varieties.
An Oranda with a prominent head cap should be considered movement impaired – and occasionally sight impaired as well. Sometimes the wen grows so large that it completely encompasses the eyes. As the wen grows larger in size the harder it is for them to swim because they become very top heavy. Combine this with a deep, egg shaped body and you get a fish that really can’t move very quickly in comparison to a lot of other Goldies out there. In fact, an adult Oranda doesn’t appear to swim at all; it’s more like a waddle!